International Reference Center for the rights of the children deprived of their family (IRC)/ International Social Service-General Secretariat (IRC)

The International Reference Center for the rights of children without families (IRC) is part of the General Secretariat of the International Social Service, based in Geneva. It started in 1993 with the aim of developing and implementing international practices on alternative forms of care for children who have been deprived of their families, children at risk of being separated from their loved ones, as well as the application of good practices in adoption processes.

Also, in collaboration with UNICEF and other agencies, it has carried out several missions to evaluate child protection practices and measures in various countries around the world since its establishment up until today.

IRC promotes the exchange of knowledge, experience and dialogue between professionals (governmental and non-governmental organizations) around the world in order to raise awareness of child protection issues worldwide. The main goal of IRC is informing and supporting professionals involved in child protection and adoption, seeking resources and transferring information on good practices.

Based on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the Hague Convention on the Protection of children and co-operation in Intercountry adoptions (1993), IRC has a special responsibility as a body for adoption and abandonment prevention in general, supporting families and defending the rights of children placed in foster care or institutions. IRC supports the development of child protection policies in accordance with international law, as well as the signing and implementation of international conventions.

IRC is in contact with the Central Intercountry Adoption Authorities of the countries in order to provide guidelines and assist in creating guidelines for organizations and professionals involved in intercountry adoptions and child protection.